Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Drafting and Politics

THE COMPLICATIONS OF WRITING A NOVEL

I anticipate a fair amount of frustration in a couple months. Editing the novel will likely start happening then. Right now, though, I keep telling myself not to worry about it now and just write it. The editing will come later, and if I worry about it now, the rough draft will take forever or never get done. It especially won't get finished if I try keeping the different viewpoints consistent and the continuity tight.

I've got three issues in mind:

+ Dealing with the different points of view, I fear some elements of redundancy. I've repeated a fair amount already. Flipping back and forth has gotten fairly annoying. Future readers will probably find it annoying, too, not because they'll flip back and forth but because they'll probably remember a good quarter of the chapter from a past chapter.

Argggghhhhh. . .but, again, I'm simply writing a rough draft. I don't have time to worry about it now.

Maybe I'll have to play around with point of view structure of the narrative. The whole flashback thing can work in TV and movies, but not so well in a novel. I think the experimenting later will breakdown the structure of the narrative, more flashing back and forth between characters. Hopefully it won't cause any confusion or frustration for the reader. . .it could have some interesting impact on the reading experience.

+ Another aspect comes from the rate at which the narrative reveals information. Where does it become dramatically important? Do I need it now to create dramatic impact and to make this one character more identifiable and compelling? Or should I wait until later to start revealing a fair amount of information? Maybe I don't have to reveal as much information as I have been doing. Could I possibly reveal the information less artiulately? And what happened to irrational and very emotional tone that I had taken earlier with this character?

This aspect simply brings up a lot of questions. A fair amount of my ignorance on this one more than likely comes from this being my first novel and story that I hope to publish professionally. As I said before, I may have to make it plain great simply so that it garners some good attention. And it maybe it becomes easier after I get the first one done, even more easier after the second one then much easier for the third one and so on and so on.

But again, I'm just rough drafting this one. Right now, I just need to get the words down on the page. These aspects will get their attention in due time, during the editing stage.

This aspect came to my attention while reading Hand Waving & The Gun In the Drawer at Dead Things on Sticks.

+ I think I touched a little on the last issue already. The fiancee brought up this point. As a quick aside, friends, significant others, etc. etc. that will read your work and give you an honest opinion becomes a very important relationship for a writer to have and nurture.

So far, I've let three people read the first two chapters in this rough draft form. I warned them of he rough draft status and that I didn't want any small or real serious criticism. At the time and still now, I really just wanted their opinion on the overall plot, the characterization of the characters and whether they got into it. I mainly asked them, afterward, what they thought about different characters and what they thought would be happening next.

The fiancee has done a fairly good job at predicting the fates of the characters. Then again, she has that kind of intelligence. Rarely does literature surprise her, yet she repeatedly reads and re-reads certain books, and mostly the franchise fantasy and chic lit stuff. Frankly, I don't understand how she finds enjoyment in the stuff if she can't get that momentary moment of surprise from the revelation in a book, movie or TV show.

Well. . .she hasn't had an easy time predicting LOST, and I think even Charlie Jade has surprised her a little, but 01 did most of that work.

Who, other than writers, really know what 01 will do next? Sometimes, I bet he surprises them, too.

I've only really surprised her once, myself (or, at least, she only says that I've done so once), and I did that the night I proposed. As she says all the time, I guess of all the times to surprise her, the proposal comes off as one of the best times.

But right, back to the issue. The people who have read this version of the novel, so far, with whom I've spoken about the characters commented that a couple of them were weird or they had a hard time reading the point of view of the characters. This current point of view is one of the hard ones. At least, the point of view of this character, as written in the prologue and the first part. I wrote those parts something like two or more years ago, before I started writing that paper that gave me hell and did a good job of whipping my angle into shape for the Project.

The other day, I asked the fiancee if she thought that I portrayed the women in the novel realistically. She said that she enjoyed how one of them got revealed, the character that the other readers liked. I can understand and appreciate their enjoyment, even if I think that character comes off as somewhat stereotypical to me. . .one of those stereotypes that I don't particularly find all that interesting, either, but she plays a real important part in the novel. . .and really, I find it fitting and gratifying that I don't like the character, considering where I got her inspiration (despite how much she has changed).

This current point of view, however, most everyone had trouble with her. One person mentioned that it had to do with the repetition in the narrative. This repetition worked differently than the redudancy from above, but I found it particularly annoying, too. I've tried to fix it the part I'm writing now, but I feel that in doing so, I've gone too far in one direction.

The other day when I asked the fiancee about my portrayal of the women in the novel, she didn't mention the repetition, but she said that she didn't enjoy how this one character developed. I can see her point, somewhat, but I fear that in trying to make her more compelling and identifiable, I may have sacrificed an important part of her, both a part of her, as a character, and her, as a part of he plot.

One bright side to the current drafting, she brought about an interesting plot complication. Looking back, though, I think her past narrative personality brought it about. And also, the dramatic impact of that complication requires some narrative time to pass, which encourages the redundancy. This complication doesn't actually require a ton of time to pass, but a primary plot complication that needs to happen needs that time, and I'm not sure if that complication can happen in another setting. . ..

So yeah. . .this one character and the plot complications that come about from this character is. . .complicated.

But again. . .I'm just drafting. I don't need to worry about these complications yet. I'll have the opportunity to worry about it during the revision and editing stage.

WOOPIE FOR THE RESULTS AND REPERCUSSIONS OF THE RECENT U.S. ELECTION

Yay! The Far Right Neo-cons no longer have control of the House of Representatives.

We don't know about the Senate yet, but one part of the Legislative Branch is a good start.

But especially enjoyable. . .Rummie has resigned his post as the Secretary of Defense. I still have some worry about what the Bush administration might have up their sleeves, but still, this repercussion feels vilifying.

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